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For the country itself, see the Papal States.
For the government form, see Papacy.

The institution of the Papacy is the religious center of the Catholic faith and a moral authority for all Catholic nations. It is 'located' in the Papal States, but is separate from the country and can reform elsewhere by event if the country no longer exists, via event for any Catholic theocracy with more than one province. Cardinals now appear at random or appear via events in provinces with at least 10 Development. Each country can have at most 7 cardinals. One nation is designated the current Papal Controller, also known as the Curia Controller, earning bonuses and able to use its power diplomatically (see below).

The Papacy can be disabled if the Papal States form the Kingdom of God, or if any Orthodox nation restores the pentarchy.


The Curia Controller will gain the following bonuses:[1]

Diplomat.png +1 Diplomats
Prestige.png +1 Yearly prestige
Stability cost modifier.png −10% Stability cost modifier
Possible advisors.png +2 Possible advisors
Advisor cost.png −20% Advisor cost
Leader(s) without upkeep.png +1 Leader(s) without upkeep
Aggressive expansion impact.png −20% Aggressive expansion impact
Technology cost.png −5% Technology cost
  • Can break royal marriages without the -1 stability hit.
  • Special diplomatic actions (listed under papal actions) available during the Age of Discovery.png Age of Discovery and Age of Reformation.png Age of Reformation

Papal actions[edit]

The Curia controller gains several diplomatic actions available for use during the Age of Discovery.png Age of Discovery and Age of Reformation.png Age of Reformation. As a base requirement, these actions require the Flag of Papal States Papal States (if exists) to have a negative Opinion.png opinion of the targeted nations.


Excommunication requires the targeted nation to be Catholic, and for the Papal States to have a negative opinion of them. If the Papal States do not exist this requirement is waived and the Curia Controller can excommunicate any Catholic ruler. Excommunication gives every neighbouring Catholic nation a Casus Belli against the targeted nation.

Excommunication penalties

  • Icon diplomacy relations.png -50 Relation with Catholic nations
  • Icon diplomacy relations.png -200 Relation with Catholic theocracies

Call a crusade[edit]

The Curia controller can also call a crusade against a single target. This target must be a heathen and the Papal States must have an opinion of -50 or below of the target. Catholic nations that border the crusade target receive a Casus Belli against it, and all Catholic nations at war with the crusade target receive bonuses to manpower, morale, prestige and yearly papal influence while they are at war with them, controls at least 1 province owned by the crusade target and the Army Maintenance slider is at maximum. Crusades may no longer be called as of the Age of Absolutism.png Age of Absolutism, but if a crusade called before it starts hasn't expired yet, it will continue to stay in effect until 30 years have passed since its start, as before.

Crusade bonuses:

The Curia[edit]

The Curia is the administrative body of the Catholic Church overseen by a group of cardinals. There are 49 seats in the Curia, and a new cardinal will be inducted on the first day of each year should any seat be empty. New cardinals are randomly selected from among the Catholic provinces of Catholic nations. Cardinals are loyal to the Catholic ruler who has ownership of their province, so it is possible to earn the allegiance of more cardinals through conquest. The primary benefit of controlling more cardinals is to increase one's papal influence. Per cardinal controlled, you gain 0.5 Papal Influence per year.

Cardinal selection[edit]

The top ten Catholic provinces in Catholic nations except Flag of The Papal State The Papal State will compete for empty seats in the Curia. The chance of a cardinal being picked from any province can be seen in the tooltip over the Active Cardinals ribbon in the papacy interface. Factors that affect cardinal selection chance are as follows:

The Papacy
  • Development of candidate province must be at least 10
  • Total provincial base tax of all Catholic provinces owned by nation (worth more)
  • Total provincial base tax of all non-Catholic provinces owned by nation (worth less)
  • Number of cardinals already controlled by nation

The selection of cardinals tends to favors countries whose wealth is concentrated in a few valuable provinces, rather than spread out over many poorer ones. Cardinals can only be elected from provinces on the same continent as the Papal States (usually Europe). If the Papal state does not exist, this restriction is removed. Cardinals can be selected from vassals but they cannot be selected from colonial nations.

Cardinal acquisition[edit]

  • If you conquer a province with a cardinal - you get the cardinal.
  • The event Cardinal Across the Border can cause a cardinal to move from one province to another.

Papal influence[edit]

Papal influence is earned by all Catholic countries except for Flag of The Papal State The Papal State. A country can store at most 200 papal influence.[2] It can be spent in exchange for various benefits.

The change in papal influence is:

+0.5 yearly Base increase[2]
+0.5 yearly for each controlled Cardinal icon.png cardinal[2]
+1 yearly as Become Defender of the Faith.png defender of the Catholic faith[3]
+1 yearly for having the triggered modifier “Crusade[4]
−10 yearly for violation of the Treaty of Tordesillas[2]
−10 yearly for having the country modifier The Statute in Restraint of Appeals (obtained by decision)
−10 yearly during excommunication[4]
−10 yearly for having the triggered modifier The Occupation of Rome[4]
−100 yearly as Revolution target.png revolution target[3]
  • converting a province gives papal influence on completion equal to the development of the converted province.

Also the following ideas increase papal influence:

Papal influence.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
+2 yearly
  • Italian traditions
  • Liège traditions
  • Nivernais traditions
  • Tuscan traditions
  • Religious idea 4: Devoutness
  • Breton idea 4: Breton Catholicism
  • Clanricarde idea 6: Catholic Holdouts
  • Jerusalem idea 2: Latin Patriarch
  • Rigan idea 1: Legacy of Bishop Albert
  • Spanish idea 1: Devout Catholicism
  • Utrecht idea 2: Ex Cathedra
  • Knights Hospitaller ambition
+1 yearly
  • Münster traditions
  • Wurzburgian traditions
  • Bavarian idea 4: Establish the Geistlicher Rat
  • Clevian idea 3: Avid Reformers
  • Irish idea 4: Loyal Catholics
  • Moravian idea 6: Jesuit University
  • Otomo idea 5: Christian Converts
  • Savoyard idea 2: The Shroud of Turin
  • Teutonic idea 4: Assume Religious Authority
  • Tyrone idea 5: Catholic Diplomacy

Additionally, implemented decisions and events can give gains or losses to papal influence. One of the possible bribes for a seat in Parliament is Send Delegation to Holy See, which will buy that seat's vote at a cost of 10 papal influence.

The yearly change of papal influence is affected by the opinion of the Papal state towards a country, namely by 0.5% times this opinion. If the Papal state does not exist, this modifier is always zero.

Papal influence can be spent in the following manner:

Action Prerequisites Papal Influence cost Effect
Invest influence
  • Has at least Cardinal icon.png 1 cardinal
5 + 0.5 * current influence Gain +10 influence towards election of next Curia controller
Levy church tax
  • Is at peace with Flag of The Papal State The Papal State
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Sanction for Increased Taxes”
50 Gain the “Papal Sanction for Increased Taxes” modifiers for 20 years:
  • +15% National tax modifier.png Global tax modifier
Grant indulgence for sins
  • Is at peace with Flag of The Papal State The Papal State
  • Has less than Legitimacy.png 100 Legitimacy
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Sanction for our Dynasty”
  • (hidden) Is a monarchy and not the junior partner in a personal union
50 Gain the “Papal Sanction for our Dynasty” modifier for 20 years:
  • +1 Legitimacy.png Yearly legitimacy
Forgive usury
  • Is at peace with Flag of The Papal State The Papal State
  • Does not have the modifier “Usury Forgiven”
50 Gain the “Usury Forgiven” modifier for 20 years:
  • -1 Interest per annum.png Interest per annum
  • -0.1 Inflation reduction.png Inflation per year
Send papal legate
  • Is at peace with Flag of The Papal State The Papal State
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Legate”
50 Gain the “Papal Legate” modifier for 20 years:
  • +1 Diplomatic reputation.png Diplomatic reputation
Bless ruler
  • Is at peace with Flag of The Papal State The Papal State
  • Has less than Prestige.png 100 prestige
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Blessing”
50 Gain the “Papal Blessing” modifier for 20 years:
  • +1 Prestige.png Yearly prestige
Beatify local saint 100 Gain Icon stability.png +1 Stability
Proclaim holy war
  • Is at war
  • Is at peace with Flag of The Papal State The Papal State
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Sanction of War”
50 Gain the “Papal Sanction of War” modifier for 20 years:
  • +15% Manpower recovery speed.png Manpower recovery speed
Sanction commercial monopoly 50 Gain Mercantilism.png +1% mercantilism


  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Curia controller).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua
  3. 3.0 3.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/triggered_modifiers/00_triggered_modifiers.txt.